After my good results with the sardine rillettes, I decided to give Dorie another go, this time with her chicken and couscous.
Although I'm not always in love with couscous--I sometimes find it a little mushy, lacking the bit of resistance I prefer in perfectly cooked pasta or rice--the recipe appealed to me, largely for its method. I like doing the following things: chopping up vegetables; browning chicken; and then letting the chicken simmer in broth and its own savory juices until tender. I am also a fan of dishes that come together in one (ok, two) pots.
This was indeed a pleasure to make. And it turned out fairly flavorful, thought not as much as you might think, with the cumin, ginger (fresh and powdered), turmeric, saffron, and cinnamon. It looked hearty, with homey chunks of carrot, celery, leek, zucchini, and turnip running through it. Chickpeas gave it a little delicacy, and garnished with golden raisins, it had a nice sweet balance.
It wasn't overwhelmingly photogenic, but stews usually aren't.
But somehow, although there was nothing technically wrong with this dish, I wouldn't make it again. After my rip-roaring start with Dorie's book, I was slowed in my tracks.
The recipe also confirmed that I don't love couscous, nor do I love chickpeas --both opinions I suspected prior to making the dish.
What a moron, you're thinking, she could have glanced at the ingredient list and known she wouldn't like it. True. I am a moron. Anyone who knows me could tell you that. But not because of giving the recipe a go. I like to re-try things that I have previously decided against. Sometimes your tastes change. I wouldn't want to live my life not eating, say, olives, just because I didn't like them as a little kid. I came around to them in college and now I am an olive fiend. Olives with chicken! Olives in tomato sauce! Olives sitting next to a hunk of delicious cheese as a pre-dinner snack. Yeah!
Incidentally, I also decided that if I'm going to eat turnips, I want them roasted, not boiled. Boiled turnips seems like something Laura Ingalls would have had to eat during the lean years on the prairie. I'm not living on no stinking prairie.
Since I wasn't in love, I'm not going to bother typing out the recipe for you guys. I do have a life beyond this blog, you know. I need to sit on my couch and space out for awhile before taking a nap with the dog.
Sweet Sophie, waiting patiently for me to put my silly computer away.
Time for my mid-morning nap.